Who did scrimshaw?

Historically speaking, scrimshaw artists (aka “scrimshanders”) were whalemen, sailors, or others who made their living on the sea. They used materials taken from sea animals, mainly whales but also porpoises, walruses, and even mollusks.

What is the art of scrimshaw?

Scrimshaw is scrollwork, engravings, and carvings done in bone or ivory. Typically it refers to the artwork created by whalers, engraved on the byproducts of whales, such as bones or cartilage. It is most commonly made out of the bones and teeth of sperm whales, the baleen of other whales, and the tusks of walruses.

What tools are used for scrimshaw?

There are only a few tools you need to scrimshaw: a scribe, a strong light, and some magnification.

Is scrimshaw jewelry valuable?

Prices range from less than $1,000 to $75,000 or more, with ongoing scholarship increasing the interest of collectors and the values of scrimshaw.

How do you know if art is original?

A printed piece of art has its characteristics. You can hold the painting up to the light and look at it from the back. If it is a real painting, you should be able to see light coming through the back of the canvas. But if it is a printed copy, this isn’t the case.

How can you tell if something is scrimshaw?

To accomplish this test, heat a pin until it’s almost red hot and then touch it to an inconspicuous part of the item. If it scorches and smells like burning bone, you’ve got a real piece on your hands. The pin test will cause polymer or plastic to melt into the piece and emit the smell of burning plastic.

How do I know if I have scrimshaw?

The easiest way to tell definitively whether a piece is real ivory is by using the “hot pin test,” in which a pin is heated to nearly red hot and then its tip is touched to an inconspicuous part of the object. If it’s ivory, it will scorch and smell like burning bone.